Auckland Transport is cracking down on residents parking their cars in the entrance to their driveways.
Acting on complaints from homeowners, AT has emailed permit holders at 14 Residential Parking Zones in the central city suburbs to tell them that parking in driveways is an offence.
“Please ensure you park your vehicle legally to avoid receiving an infringement notice,” AT said in an email to permit holders last week.
AT said the parking zones are there to help residents find parking spaces during the day, saying parking over driveways negates the reason the zones were introduced.
The permits, costing $70 a year, do not exempt residents from parking laws, including parking in a driveway, the email said.
But in the central city where parking is scarce and it is common practice to park in driveways, many residents are unaware of the rules and upset at receiving a warning ticket.
If residents get caught a second time, they will cop a $40 fine.
Writing on the Grey Lynn/Ponsonby Grapevine Facebook page, one woman said it is ridiculous to ticket people for parking in the entrance to their homes, calling it shameless revenue gathering at a time when people don’t need it.
“Ironically, I think you’ll find they can’t ticket you for parking on the grass verge, unless there are signs every 100m,” she said.
Another woman said she asked about parking her vehicle on the crossing when permits first came in and “was told as long as I wasn’t blocking the footpath it was okay … sounds like they are changing their stance”.
The parking rules apply whether or not a vehicle is blocking the footpath.
On the Facebook page, a third woman said she walked out of her home on Islington St in Ponsonby the other day to find a “lady ticketing every car and told me that it was illegal to park there”.
“Yes, they did Pompallier Tce as well,” said the first woman, “our neighbour has been parking in his driveway for 40 years. He got a total shock.”
AT spokesman Mark Hannan said the parking zones were not being targeted, saying the only change is the introduction of cars fitted with high-tech parking cameras to patrol the parking zones.
The cars are proving lucrative for AT, issuing about 200 tickets a day, compared to 50 to 60 tickets a day for a parking warden on foot.
Hannan said in the past two years, AT has issued 13,531 tickets across the city for parking over driveways. In September and October, 186 tickets were issued for the same offence in Freemans Bay, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Parnell, he said.
Hannan was unable to say how many residents had complained about parking in driveways.
He said AT had educated and communicated to people about the law relating to parking in driveways.
He said the terms and conditions of the parking zones clearly states: “The permit does not exempt the driver from parking laws or general parking restrictions imposed by the Road User Rule (for example, no parking over a driveway, no parking within 6m of an intersection) or the Auckland Transport Traffic Bylaw 2012.”
“That said we are issuing warning notices to first time offenders located within the zones and we are contacting all E-permit holders in all residents parking zones and reminding them of their responsibility,” Hannan said.
He said AT and Auckland Council have been seeking to ban parking on berms but had not got the support of Local Government NZ.
Parking on berms is illegal on just 36 streets in the city, which require signs every 100m down the street.
Hannan said installing signs was costly, time consuming and added to visual clutter.
“We also have the issue of these signs being regularly vandalised,” he said.
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